Loyal fans of 1883—the offshoot of the ever-popular series Yellowstone—will have a new hero to root for in the forthcoming season: the iconic Black marshal from the wild, wild, West, Bass Reeves, played by Selma star David Oyelowo.
According to TVLine, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story will center around the legendary figure “known as the greatest frontier hero in American history, and also believed to be the inspiration for The Lone Ranger. Reeves worked in the post-Reconstruction era as a federal peace officer in the Indian Territory, capturing over 3,000 of the most dangerous criminals without ever being wounded.” The forthcoming series is expected to drop some time this year and will live on Paramount+.
Per the show’s official description, the 1883 spinoff serves as a prequel to Yellowstone, which tells the story of “the Dutton family, led by John Dutton, who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the United States, under constant attack by those it borders—land developers, an Indian reservation, and America’s first National Park.”
If the name Bass Reeves sounds familiar, then it may be because the western figure was most recently portrayed by Da 5 Bloods star Delroy Lindo in the popular Jeymes Samuel-directed Netflix western film, The Harder They Fall back in November. Prior to that, his life and legacy was explored in the Emmy-winning HBO series Watchmen, starring Regina King, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Louis Gossett Jr. and Jean Smart.
If I’m honest, I was and still am very much a fan of Lindo’s portrayal. So it’s probably going to take a minute for me to envision Oyelowo doing this role justice. But I look forward to seeing him and hopefully he’ll change my mind.